--> -->

Getting down to some serious tennis.

Willie and Carole from Windsor at MirafloresIt is now Friday and we are getting used to 30C and playing in oven temperatures. Our base camp is Miraflores Tennis Club above which we have rented an apartment for 3 weeks. The apartment has all the mod cons bar a laptop computer which would be useful for my blogs! As it is I am having to make do as and when an opportunity arises i.e. beg steal or borrow!

Social tennis mix-ins have been the order of the day so far. And they are fun with standards of players varying wildly! And the people are from all over the world all with the common interest of tennis.


Joke for the day.

I joined a gym and health club last month which promised me I would lose 5 lbs in one week. So far I´ve gained 10 lbs. I cant understand it! But apparently you have to go there!

(WillieAndCarole – no more jokes please – MasterBlaster :mrgreen: )

Anyway these tennis mix-ins are quite fun although it can be a bit haphazard. Yesterday I played with Peter who is an Everton fan – poor guy – and a complete novice at tennis. We had to play Carmen again – Spanish no. 2 over 50 and her partner Frank Van Leerven from Holland who is in top 150 in the world at over 60. So you catch my drift? Frank is in serious tennis mode and hoping to do well in Lew Hoad veterans tournament starting this Sunday. Afterwards he and Carmen sit at their own table discussing tactics and on-court strategy!

Carole meanwhile was on a court some distance away and having great fun sweeping her forehands past unsuspecting net rushers!

My thinking is I need some serious tennis. So I enrol  for coaching with Fernando Gil, head coach.

“Willie your forehand – not bad. But backhand – tut tut tut”.

“Fernando you are preaching to the converted” I say. “But what should I be doing?”

Anyway after 30 mins drill I am on cloud 9 and backhand is working like clockwork.

I ambitiously arrange to play Juan Angel Calvo. No idea who he is but seems a handy lefty.

After one hour I come off  the clay courts exhausted and killed 6/1. And the one game I got took me 15 minutes.

Later in the oxygen tent – only joking – I discover Juan is no.4 over 60 in Spain and no. 34 in the world so I don´t feel so bad. He graciously tells me I am a good player. Well, there is good and good!

When I say good for example after my shower I see a match on court one invilving Guzman and Smith. Guzman is still 14 but 6foot tall and when he hits a ball it stays hit. His tennis to me seems awesome. I leave after the first set which he wins 6/2 v Smith who is an adult and also brilliant.

Carole has gone with some friends to Lew Hoads 30 mins a way for a 6pm to 8pm tennis mix-in with Primotivo Sanchez, a very good veteran who knows all there is to know about tennis. Later I drive over there and join them for post match drinks – coca cola in my case. I could drink Lough Neagh dry at the moment.

Primo has a son at University in the States – near Fresno, and he is doing well. I mention Guzman to Primo. How good is he?
Not that good says Primo. He needs to go where he will learn. No good winning 6/2. He should be losing 6/2 and learn something at his age. Go to Barcelona and play with the best. And his attitude is all wrong. Tennis is also in the mind and that has to be right to play at the top level.

So there you are.

Back home we collapse on the sofa and watch “the Kingdom of Heaven”.

I´m thinking I am on a wing and a prayer if I am to win a match in the tournament next week.

Adios amigos. Til the next time.